phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exaggerated fear of acrophobia
2 : intolerance or aversion for photophobia

Examples of phobia in a Sentence

Noun His fear of crowds eventually developed into a phobia.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In addition to learning how to use a wheelchair and tap into the pain of Valeria, Toledo also had to overcome a crippling phobia toward dogs. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "‘Amores Perros’ at 20: Iñárritu’s symphony of desire still jolts," 19 Dec. 2020 Fat phobia is a moral panic crafted from fears about free Black women in public life. Tressie Mcmillan Cottom, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lizzo, “Body Positivity,” and the Impossible Expectations for Black Women’s Bodies," 17 Dec. 2020 Boltz had a phobia about summertime insects, particularly wasps, hornets and bees after he was stung in the mouth. Staff Reports Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Minnesota briefs: Duluth's public golf courses racking up losses again," 5 Dec. 2020 For example: If someone has a phobia of spiders, therapists will have that person intentionally engage with arachnids either by imagining them, handling real ones, or even experiencing them via virtual reality. Nicole Johnson, National Geographic, "How horror movies can help people overcome real-world trauma," 30 Oct. 2020 There's a Temple of Terror Haunted House, the Historical Mystery Mansion, Dr. Psycho's Haunted Estate, Big Mama's Revenge, the Middletown Haunted Trail, Killer Klowns in a 3D maze, even a phobia room where your fears come to life in horrible ways. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Top 5 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend: Oct. 2-4," 30 Sep. 2020 That’s still not in my wheelhouse, thanks to a phobia that took root after writing about botulism in 1979. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Breakfast salads, vegetable desserts: A year in a CSA changes her meal plan, fills her freezer," 29 Sep. 2020 The agency says benzodiazepines are used for anxiety disorder, insomnia, seizures, social phobia and panic disorders. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "FDA requires stronger warning label for Xanax, Valium and other similar benzodiazepine drugs," 24 Sep. 2020 Exposure therapy really is the best way to confront a phobia. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, "How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying in 9 Simple Steps," 23 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phobia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phobia

Noun

1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phobia

Noun

-phobia

Noun combining form

New Latin, from Late Latin, from Greek, from -phobos fearing, from phobos fear, flight, from phebesthai to flee; akin to Lithuanian bėgti to flee, Old Church Slavonic běžati

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Time Traveler for phobia

Time Traveler

The first known use of phobia was in 1786

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Statistics for phobia

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phobia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phobia. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for phobia

phobia

noun
How to pronounce -phobia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phobia

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

English Language Learners Definition of -phobia (Entry 2 of 2)

: an extremely strong dislike or fear of someone or something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Kids Definition of phobia

: an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something

phobia

noun
pho·​bia | \ ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce phobia (audio) \

Medical Definition of phobia

: an exaggerated and often disabling fear usually inexplicable to the subject and having sometimes a logical but usually an illogical or symbolic object, class of objects, or situation — compare compulsion, obsession

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